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UA on a mission to boost vaccinations in Black Belt region

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 6:34 AM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The University of Alabama is on a mission to boost vaccinations in rural parts of our state. UA researchers are specifically targeting the Black Belt. The University of Alabama is teaming up with several community groups to help get 70% of eligible people in the region vaccinated against COVID-19.

They want to do this over the next year, since access to the shot is limited there. A $1 million dollar grant from the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration will help the UA provide vaccine information and outreach programs. The money will also support remote and pop-up vaccination clinics throughout 18 counties in or surrounding the Black belt region.

The program will connect community members with local clinics and pharmacies to create “Shot on the Spot” events while using UA’s Hear Here mobile truck to vaccinate more people in remote areas. “My message to them is that, this is about your life. You know if you get vaccinated, you’ll have less anxiety about the virus. You’ll be protecting yourself, as well as the members around you. Your family and your community,” said Dr. Hee Yun Lee grant and associate dean of UA school of social work.

Research also sights vaccine hesitancy as another reason for the low vaccination rates in the black belt and across the state.

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